Pessah in Sde Boker

I am on vacation this week-end because it’s Pessah. No bread or anything that contains yeast nor wheat for 8 days to remember that the Israelites didn’t have time to let the bread raise when they left Egypt and slavery. And this week starts with the Seder, the celebration of the Passover per se. Since everyone was spending the holiday in their family and didn’t want to let me alone, I got ten invites for the night and had the tough task to choose. I accepted Daniel’s offer because he said there’d be French people and I must admit I was happy to have a chance to rest a bit. So we took the bus to Sde Boker and spent two days at Marion and John’s with their family. All of them are super nice and the kids, although raised by a French mother and a Britannic father true Israelis: you can’t stop them. Ever. We had an awesome diner with a bunch of French guests (mostly diplomats) who must have been very surprised by the ambience of this celebration, delicious food as usual and the sweetest night in the peace of the desert. Photograph will talk better than a thousand words:

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“Poupi” reading the Haganah

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Sde Boker, at the hedge of the Negev

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A quiete evening with the family

Probably will be going to the sea tomorrow. I think my skin will reach its summer color in two weeks if I keep this pace!

P.S.: You know you’re a grown up when you are excited by doing your laundry in your new laundry machine…

Iech li dira!

I got a flat!! I’m so excited!!!

I have seen 6 or 7 flats this week, and this one was the second one I had visited, just after a studio. Since the outside of those building is so ugly and old and dirty (I promise I will put photos soon) I was expecting the worst regarding the inside. So I couldn’t tell if I liked the flat because it seemed so nice compared to what I expected or if it was realy because of it. Beside the studio, all the other apartments had three rooms (1 living room and 2 bedrooms) whereas this one “only” got 2.5 rooms for the same price. It’s suuuper close to the university – I told my prof today that this way, I could sleep at my place instead of sleeping in the lab since we have cockroaches during the night (small yellow ones but they show up the second the night has come) – and it’s not exactly the fancy neighborhood but it has been totally renovated and it’s furnished and the owners are so nice they drove me home and that I should ask them if I needed anything and they could even help me moving in and did I tell you I was excited? I hesitated because others kept telling me the other neighborhood was better but someone yesterday told me that when I’d find The Flat, I’d knew it and actually that was the case when I had seen this one.

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The entrance of my new house

Soooo I’m going to sign tomorrow and hopefully move in the same day. Otherwise I started in the lab yesterday, I attended two fish brain surgeries and today I started to read the milion of readings my prof gave me. I (finally) got my student card, my bank card, my checkbook, where is my checkbook, nooooo they didn’t give it me, I have to go back to the bank and queue for hours!!

View of the lab from my spot

View of the lab from my spot

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My spot, with a very thin layer of desert dust

Beside those small anoying details, I start to find my way in the university and start to think that my only issue is my poor level of Hebrew.

The TYNTGUT (Things You Need To Get Used To) point of the day:

– It’s not always 40+°C outside but it’s never more than 20°C inside so you better be prepared to a whole range of temperature or you’ll rapidely get a pneumonia.

– You have to show your ID every time you pass the university portal and be prepared to answer a few questions about your intentions if you don’t have a student ID. You have to give the guardian your bag and pass the metal detector but it’s not different from any visit to a supermarket anyway.

– You should have chosen Russian as a second language. It would have saved you so much energy, especially with taxi drivers and people from the department of immigration who can’t speak a word of English and whose Hebrew sounds like Russian.

Your future landlord and his wife will give you a ride home and offer to help you. Did I mention already how nice people are here???